The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Teaser: A Reaction

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There was just the one clip from the last installment of The Hobbit trilogy that Peter Jackson & Co. showed the audience at the Warner Bros panel at San Diego Comic-Con ’14... and now we get to see it too! Warner Bros has released the teaser trailer of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies for our viewing pleasure.

My first few thoughts are:

  • Chilling. Epic. But mostly just chilling.
  • The use of Pippin’s song in this trailer feels right. It’s a good way to use that song again and connect The Hobbit to The Lord Of The Rings. (And the fact that Pippin’s song came in the third film of LOTR trilogy makes its usage in this third movie of The Hobbit trilogy is even more appropriate.)
  • Realistically speaking, I suspect that the reason why Pippin’s song is used in the trailer is because they don’t have a scoring ready to be used yet. However, it still sounds good and feels right anyway.
  • Now I really want Pippin’s song to be used in the movie. It’ll be a great way to have Billy Boyd involved again.
  • I suspect this will be Luke Evans’ moment to shine. The trailer teases a lot of heroic moments for Bard the Bowman. I hope the end product delivers on that.
  • Galadriel and Gandalf are yet another reason why I get goosebumps. Again, Pippin’s song fits whatever is happening there perfectly, walking through shadows and all that.
  • Sauron’s eye at the end of the trailer made me shudder. For all that Smaug is evil, Sauron is still the bigger threat.
  • The Hobbit film writers absolutely love Richard Armitage. They keep giving him the best lines. After “if this to end in fire, then we will all burn together”, he now gets to play Thorin Oakenshield delivering the fierce line of “I will have war.
  • Bilbo’s monologue at the beginning of the teaser trailer is absolutely heartbreaking.

Are you not gross sobbing into your keyboards yet?

“one day i’ll remember, remember everything that happened: the good, the bad, those who survived, and those that did not.”

I can’t actually watch too much of this trailer because I don’t want to cry even more than I already did.

I’ve been very worried about the BOTFA film; PJ has been slow in keeping us updated. It is now end of July and we still haven’t seen much – not even by way of still images – of the film. The only thing significant that happened was the title change from There And Back Again to The Battle Of The Five Armies. Right now, I have very low expectation of the movie (also taking into account how The Desolation Of Smaug took a huge leap away from the book), mostly because of this sense of ‘unpreparedness’. I hope everything will go well and we can see something else soon. It really is time for a production blog, Mr. Jackson!

On the meantime, let’s just enjoy the teaser poster where Bilbo is kneeling holding Sting. Can we say epic again? EPIC.

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Entertainment Weekly SDCC ’14 Star Portraits

Photos from Entertainment Weekly SDCC Star Portraits Gallery. Photography by Michael Muller for EW.

DAY 1

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First row: Benedict Cumberbatch; Sarah Wayne Callies; Josh Hartnett
Second row: J. August Richards; Jim Parsons; Adam West
Third row: the cast of Penguins Of Madagascar; Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead); the cast of Hannibal; the cast of Under The Dome

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DAY 2

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First row: Daniel Radcliffe; Colin Firth; Zachary Quinto; Jon Bernthal
Second row: Isaac Hempstead-Wright; Natalie Dormer; David Benioff & DB Weiss
Third row: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gwendoline Christie & Pedro Pascal; Sophie Turner, Kit Harington & Maisie Williams; Will Poulter, Dylan O’Brien & Kaya Scodelario; Freddie Highmore & Vera Farmiga
Fourth row: Samuel L. Jackson; the cast of Dominion; the cast of Outlander (incl. Graham McTavish); DC Comics’ Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, John Romita Jr, Dan DiDio, Jim Lee & Scott Snyder of DC Comics

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DAY 3

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Top: The cast of Avengers: Age Of Ulron
First row: Robert Downey Jr.; RDJ & James Spader; Spader; Mark Ruffalo
Second row: Cobie Smulders
Third row: Hayley Atwell; Chloe Bennett; Paul Rudd; Josh Brolin
Fourth row: Michael Douglas, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly & Corey Stoll (Ant-Man cast)
Fifth row: Janet Montgomery & Shane West; the cast of Gotham; the cast of Constantine; the cast of Arrow
Sixth row: Grant Gustin; Omar Epps; the cast of Grimm; the cast of Sleepy Hollow; Danai Gurira
Seventh row: The cast of The Walking Dead; Steven Yeun & Lauren Cohan
Eight row: Theo James & Shailene Woodley
Ninth row: George Miller, creator of Mad Max
Last: The cast of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

 

Marvel’s Avengers Age Of Ultron First Look

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After yesterday’s panel of Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron debuted (descriptions here), I looked at the film stills released by Marvel on Entertainment Weekly.

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The first picture should be the scene where they were hanging out and trying to lift Mjolnir. There’s Mjolnir right there. Also, even just by looking at the picture, I can sense the strong ‘brofeel’. (And it is good to see Don Cheadle there. I was hoping he’d be in the panel yesterday…)

I can’t even fathom what the second picture indicates, but the third picture makes me happy. I really like seeing them in costume because somehow Joss Whedon and Marvel always make them work in the story. That they are not just characters who dress differently because they’re unique and powerful, but because there’s a story behind their getup. Cap is back to his colorful star and stripes too, and I appreciate that. Although, I’m hoping Thor’s armor gets a little less summer-y… he probably just wants to show off his arms but I like it better when the armor has long sleeves.

The third one, though? I am not going to lie but at the moment I will say that Evan Peters’ Quicksilver is still better. His hair, for one, is a lot nicer to look at than Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s hair in this one. The bit available in the Captain America: The Winter Soldier after-credit scene was intriguing but it’s not like we get to see him being Pietro Maximoff in entirety… it’s really hard or me to expect anything without seeing more. And the X-Men: DOFP version of Quicksilver was a real highlight in any summer movie I’ve seen this year so it will be very hard to top that.

From the way everyone talks about, the one thing that really makes me curious is the Hulkbuster armor. Hopefully soon we will get to see that. Of course, we will all appreciate the first look of James Spader’s Ultron.

A side note on fan expectations and differences of the MCU films from the comic books… I don’t get it. I see vitriol poured by some fans over the announcement of the cast and characters of Ant-Man and I am baffled.

Continue reading

Marvel Studios panel at Hall H, SDCC ’14

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Marvel Studios bring out their big guns to Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, holding panels for their 2015 films: Ant-Man and Avengers: Age Of Ultron. As usual, Kevin Feige is there to lead A-listers in the panel with Chris Hardwick conducting.

During the Ant-Man panel, Peyton Reed shows up “to polite applause”. I guess people are still not to keen on him being the director of Ant-Man after Edgar Wright left. He establishes his own Ant-Man geek cred though; apparently “he’s a huge fan and drew himself as Ant-Man on a flyer for his punk band, Johnny Quest.” He’s still not Edgar Wright but I think I’m ready to move on now.

A few announcements are made for Ant-Man. Casting-wise, Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas are called “Ant-Men”, playing Scott Lang and Hank Pym respectively. Corey Stoll is cast as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket. Evangeline Lilly is cast as Hope Van Dyne, Janet’s daughter. Filming of Ant-Man begins on 18 August 2014.

Despite not having filmed yet, there’s a footage show. As usual, the description was live-bloged by Comingsoon.net‘s Silas Lesnick earlier:

The footage begins as a shot moves through a lab.

We see beakers filled with colored liquids.

A glass cage with an anthill inside

We hear Rudd and Douglas talking

Pym tells Lang that he wants him to be Ant-Man because he’s a regular guy

It sounds like he has no love lost for The Avengers

Rudd is terrified

“Geez Lang,” says Pym, “You’d think someone only shrunk your balls.”

It cuts to a rooftop. Ant-Man is there, tiny

It looks like he’s being pursued by full-size people

An Ant lands and Lang climbs on his back, still terrified

Pym talks to Lang through the helmet, guiding him

It looks like the helmet is damaged and Lang is having some trouble

It looks like he’s inside a computer maybe

Pym tells him to run and he jumps off a huge ledge

A flying Ant catches him as he falls and the logo comes up!

Next up is Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Which is a riot. Because the cast is huge (I think there were more people on this panel than in The Hobbit panel) although Joss Whedon and Scarlett Johansson are not there. Whedon is laid up in London due to knee injury, meanwhile Johansson is due to give birth anytime now. So there were ‘only’ Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Bettany, James Spader, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen.

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There were reportedly a lot of shenanigans during the panel but I’d rather not focus on that. The video is bound to show up soon and I believe we can all watch it for ourselves. More importantly, there’s a footage from Age Of Ultron that is described by so many people.

Here’s Silas Lesnick’s version:

It’s the Avengers, hanging out together.

They’re out of costumes and all trying to lift Thor’s hammer

Tony can’t do it

He tries again with an Iron Man hand

He still can’t

Even with War Machine’s help, he can’t

Neither can Banner

Cap moves it a little!

Silas Lesnick: A big noise distracts them

It’s an old suit, moving like a zombie, entering the room… It’s Ultron!

“There’s only one path to peace,” he says, “Your extinction!”

A montage of scenes. Black Widow in her new suit with blue lining

Banner in a straightjacket?

Tanks fighting in the snow

“It’s the end,” says Stark. “The end of the path I started us on.”

“Nothing lasts forever,” says Widow

Hulkbuster armor!

Going toe-to-toe with the Hulk!

“Look,” says Ultron, seemingly in his finished form, “No string on me”

Tony in what looks like a wasteland. All the Avengers are lying, bruised and beaten before him

And Empire Magazine has this description on Twitter:

Five highlights of the Avengers footage…

5. The gang all trying to lift Mjolnir at a party. Thor laughs until Cap manages to wobble it.

4. Ultron, having just built himself, crashes that party and declares war on mankind. Spader’s voice is menacing – perfect.

3. Hulk vs Iron Man in his Hulkbuster armour. Hulk throws a car at Stark. What could have happened to make the Science Bros so angry?

2. The final shot: Stark staring at Cap’s shield, which has been broken in half. Pull back to reveal: the Avengers, destroyed? Maybe…

1. And the final reveal of Ultron, declaring there “are no strings on me”. He’s going to be a formidable opponent, a robot with personality.

Full story here.)

After the footage, Thanos himself came on stage… Josh Brolin came with the Infinity Gauntlet (and ate a purple flower).

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The panel was closed by a video greeting from James Gunn and Chris Pratt in London. Gunn announces that Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 is happening. The release date is 28 July 2017.

Excitement all around thanks to these announcements. It makes being sleep-deprived worth it.

I have some more photos for you…

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Crimson Peak in Legendary Pictures panel at Hall H, SDCC 2014

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Guillermo del Toro seems intent on becoming a permanent fixture at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 by appearing every day on various panels. Which is good news for his fans, myself included. Today he introduced a teaser clip for his upcoming movie Crimson Peak starring Tom Hiddleston.

This is a description of the panel by Ed Douglas from Comingsoon.net.

Next up… Guillermo del Toro!!! (I think he literally has a panel every day)

He’s being asked why it’s the right time to return to horror. “I wanted to make a movie that can blend two sides of my personality.”

GDT is talking about how it will be r-rated and incredibly violent and Legendary said “okay”

He keeps saying that the film is going to be incredibly beautiful and he’s talking about the Occulus Rift experience at the booth

He’s going to show some footage!!!

Since it’s a year and a half he’s only going to show a little bit

He’s going to show the cast in wardrobe

When GDT mentioned Tom Hiddleston everyone screamed

He says that his cast is the special FX

GDT says that despite his good looks and bad boy image as Loki, Tom is also one of the nicest guys

GDT says that he wanted to make every scene look like a painting.

GDT isn’t answering any questions from the audience but he got them going by saying two things “Hellboy 3″ and “At the Mountains of Madness”

Here’s a description of the clip.

He just showed what could be a releasable teaser trailer even though the movie is over a year away

It starts with a very gory version of the Legendary Pictures logo

it’s narrated by Tom Hiddleston and shows a lot of creepy images

The camera goes through this old house showing various parts including a floor covered in dead flies as Tom narrates

Here’s what Tom Hiddleston says over the teaser:

“A house as old as this one becomes in time a living thing
Timber for bones and winds for eyes
and sitting here all alone
It starts holding onto things
Keeping them alive when they shouldn’t be
Some of them good, some are bad
Some should never be spoken about again”

After that, we hear a very creepy voice saying “My Child” and it ends on an image of Mia Wasikowska cowering in her bed before a black hand appears and grabs her shoulder

Crimson Peak looked very cool, especially the logo which is floating in what looks like blood

Everything looks promising! What’s more, he also said that next year he’s probably going to return to San Diego Comic-Con and bring the cast with him. I can’t wait for that!

Tom Hiddleston himself was not there obviously but he Tweeted two pictures of props from the movie because he’s genius like that.

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And he had this to say about his absence:

See you next year, Hiddles.

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies panel at Hall H, SDCC2014

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The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies panel just ended at Hall H, San Diego Comic-Con 2014. According to reports, it was attended by Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lilly, Elijah Wood, Graham McTavish, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, Luke Evans andLee Pace. Host is Stephen Colbert (who is the real hero of the panel, in my opinion). The three main actors Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage did not attend because of their filming/stage projects.

They shared a gag-reel (which is quite funny, according to descriptions) and a teaser trailer. I’m sure we will get to see them both eventually, but the description for the teaser trailer was massively epic because it ended with a strong Thorin Oakenshield and Bilbo Baggins moment.

(Descriptions by Silas Lesnick of Comingsoon.net via their live-blog.)

Set to a somber musical version of Tolkien’s “The Walking Song,” the teaser is all about building the intensity of this giant, giant battle

We see all the characters preparing for battle. Troops of Orcs, Elven warriors, etc

At the end, Thorin asks Bilbo to stand with him one last time

According to Total Film’s Tweet, the last line there goes:

“Will you follow me… one last time?”

More descriptions from CS live-blog:

Smaug doing a strife across Laketown

Thranduil in battle

Galadriel walking barefoot across a battlefield. She kneels and kisses a wounded, unconscious Gandalf on the head

Thranduil in battle? His Supreme Bitchface in armor, which Lee Pace himself Tweeted yesterday. (Along with the Comic-Con poster released before that.)

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At the end of the panel, Peter Jackson announced The Hobbit Fan Contest, which will give the fans a chance to go to New Zealand. The contest will invite 75 winners (each with a guest) to The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies premiere in New Zealand in November. Go to the website and register!

Some photos from the panel (via Warner Bros Twitter):

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Photos via Tifferini Twitter:

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Photos via Wilson Morales Twitter:

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Photo of Hall H via Lee Pace Twitter:

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Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron Concept Arts from SDCC ’14

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San Diego Comic-Con 2014 is on and, as expected, there’s an absolutely massive deluge of information coming from just about every single fandom you could possibly think of.

As usual, I’m following SDCC from the comforts of my own home, via the Interweb, and already I’m feeling kind of tired from the oversaturation of geek. However, these Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron concept art posters by Ryan Meinerding (Captain America, Iron Man) and Andy Park (Black Widow, Scarlet Witch) are just too good to NOT to be reported.

Without further ado, here they are.

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Vision:

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[UPDATED] The final 2 concept artworks for Hulk and Thor have been revealed (look up). And this is the full picture, which looks TOTALLY EPIC.

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Also, check out Andy Park’s Ant-Man concept art that was released before.

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[UPDATED] Entertainment Weekly posted this on their website:

The good guys are tired, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been destroyed, and there’s no one else for the planet to turn to when menace looms on the horizon. Everyone wants a break—and that’s exactly how they’re about to be broken. There’s no abdicating heroism.

“What you said about abdication is apt, but I think it’s also about recognizing limitations,” Robert Downey Jr. says. “The downside of self-sacrifice is that if you make it back, you’ve been out there on the spit and you’ve been turned a couple times and you feel a little burned and traumatized.”

For better or worse (trust us, it’s worse), his Tony Stark has devised a plan that won’t require him to put on the Iron Man suit anymore, and should allow Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk to get some much needed R&R as well. His solution is Ultron, self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence designed to help assess threats, and direct Stark’s Iron Legion of drones to battle evildoers instead.

The only problem? Ultron (played by James Spader through performance-capture technology) lacks the human touch, and his superior intellect quickly determines that life on Earth would go a lot smoother if he just got rid of Public Enemy No. 1: Human beings. “Ultron sees the big picture and he goes, ‘Okay, we need radical change, which will be violent and appalling, in order to make everything better’; he’s not just going ‘Muhaha, soon I’ll rule!’” Whedon says, rubbing his hands together.

Completely sinister. We’ll know more from the panel later.